Joseph Kabuleeta. File Photo
So while this pandemic is a real crisis for the majority, it is an opportunity for the minority in power.
I know these are anxious times and fear has burrowed into the marrow of most people. Typically, in times like these, rational arguments are dismissed as selfish, callous or insensitive because the herd (or the group think) demands that we switch off our critical minds and put on the mantle of panic. But I have never been one for the herd.
The measures put in place by President Museveni are commendable only in as far as they might help curb the spread of the disease. But the citizenry should demand a lot more. The first step the government took was to request parliament for permission to take a US$190m (sh700bn) loan (which we or our children must pay). Is it too much to ask that government, at the very least, provides free and safe sanitizers for all public places? That would cost less than 5 percent of those billions, but they cannot even spare that. Taxis (before they were also banned) were using cheap and diluted liquid soap to ‘sanitize’ their passengers, and it looked really ugly. When will such people ever get a helping hand from their government, if not at such a time when their fragile livelihood has been shattered?
Other countries have moved to revise tax regimes to mitigate the financial grief of their most vulnerable citizens. Elsewhere, Central Banks have massively slashed interest rates and freed commercial banks to lend at more friendly rates, banks have eased loan repayment schedules and big tech companies have cut fees.
Author: Joseph Kabuleeta.